Several months after a Turkish hacker group leaked the inbox of Turkey’s energy minister and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, Wikileaks has published the emails, which display his heavy influence on a wide range of issues even before entering politics.
Wikileaks said in a statement that the authoritative, searchable archive of 57,934 emails from the personal email address span 16 years, from April 2000 to Sept. 23 of this year.
In September Turkish hacker group Redhack released the emails after the government refused to release author Aslı Erdoğan and Kurdish politician Alp Altınörs from prison.
One of the most significant of Albayrak’s ties that the leaked emails reveal is with Powertrans, a company implicated in Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) oil imports into Turkey. Although Albayrak denied any connection to Powertrans, the emails demonstrate that Albayrak started an involvement with Powertrans in 2012, coinciding with the government’s decision to give Powertrans the rights to oil transport. As stated by Wikileaks, in November 2011 the Erdoğan government passed a bill prohibiting all import, export, or transfer of oil or its by-products into or out of Turkey. However, the bill also stated that the government could revoke the ban in specific cases. This exception was used to grant Powertrans the sole rights to oil transport without holding a public tender. There have been numerous allegations in the Turkish media about Powertrans’ imports of ISIL-controlled oil into Turkey.
Wikileaks also pointed out that the extensive emails show the influence of Erdoğan’s son-in-law over conventional and social media in favor of the government. Albayrak’s correspondence confirms rumors that a social media troll army has been managed by the government including “two experts on psychological warfare.”
The efforts by the Erdoğan family to engineer the media is evident in Albayrak’s emails since in a Jan. 11, 2016 email, Erdoğan’s son-in-law is seen lobbying to control or sell the critical Koza-İpek media group instead of returning it to its rightful owner, businessman Akın İpek, who fled Turkey for overseas.
Albayrak’s inbox and attached files have been made available online by Wikileaks and can be searched using keywords.